Lean product development ways of working have entered the traditional Stage-Gate process, which offers good principles and methods for removing waste in the innovation process. The concept of spiral loops or agile development is built in, allowing project teams to move rapidly to finalize a product design through a series of ‘‘build-test-feedback-and- revise’’ iterations.
The first spiral is the voice-of-customer (VoC) study undertaken early in Stage 2, where project members visit customers to understand their unmet needs and benefits sought in the new product. The second spiral, or full proposition concept test, is where the project team presents the proposed sample product. Spiral development allows developers to continually incorporate customer feedback into the design even after the product definition is locked in before going into Stage 3. It is important that the product definition specifies that which is not likely to change versus that which might change as new information becomes available. Moving into the development stage customer feedback is sought then rapid revisions made in order to build the first working prototype and so on, with each successive version of the product getting closer to the final product and at the same time closer to the customer’s ideal.
(source: Cooper, 2008, “Make your new product process agile & adaptable with spiral development.”)